Leaf Pickups Begin Nov. 1

Montgomery County's Department of Public Works and Transportation will collect leaves twice on every street in the southern part of the county from Nov. 1 through mid-December.

The area included in the collection program is bounded by I-495; I-270; the Rockville city limits; Norbeck, Bel Pre and Bonifant roads; Northwest Branch Park; and the borders of the District and Prince George's County.

Green signs will be posted to notify residents of the first collection date; red signs will notify residents of the second collection date.

Leaves should be placed in paper yard waste bags or reusable containers and set on the grass or behind a curb.

Tree or garden debris should not be mixed with leaves. Such debris should be tied in bundles no longer than four feet and placed with regular household trash. For more information, call 240-777-6530.

New Director for Libraries

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan has named Parker Hamilton to serve as the new director of the Montgomery County Public Libraries.

She replaces Harriet Henderson, who resigned in August to take a job with another library system.

Hamilton, 57, has a bachelor's degree in English literature and a master's degree in library science from the University of Illinois. Hamilton has worked as a human resources administrator for the county library system, handling strategic planning, staff development and training.

Since 2001, she has served as the assistant chief administrative officer for the county, overseeing the Office of Community Outreach and the county executive's Volunteer Center.

Hamilton lives in Colesville.

Walking in Takoma Park

Takoma Park will hold four Walkable Communities workshops Monday and Tuesday to allow residents to make suggestions regarding pedestrian conditions in Takoma Park, including on Piney Branch Road, Takoma Junction and Flower Avenue.

The workshops, sponsored by the state Office of Traffic and Safety, will be led by Bob Chauncy of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking.

The tours will start at the following times and locations: 9 a.m. Monday at Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Rd.; 1 p.m. Monday at Columbia Union College, Wilkinson Hall, 7600 Flower Ave; 1 p.m. Tuesday at Adventist Hospital, Conference Room 1, 7600 Carroll Ave; and 6 p.m. Tuesday at Takoma Park Recreation Center, 7315 New Hampshire Ave. Call 301-891-7219 for more information.

Free Halloween Cab Rides

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will offer free cab rides to residents of Montgomery and Prince George's counties to prevent drunken driving during the Halloween weekend.

Residents 21 and older can request a ride by calling 800-200-TAXI (or 8294) from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Oct. 29-Oct. 31. Cingular cell phone customers can dial #TAXI. For more information, visit www.soberride.com.

Emancipation Day Events

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will celebrate Maryland Emancipation Day from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at several sites across the county.

Maryland slaves were freed on Nov. 1, 1864.

A park historian will lead a hike on a two-mile trail used by slaves to escape, near Woodlawn Manor in Sandy Spring.

The Sandy Spring Slave Museum and African Art Gallery, both in Sandy Spring, will offer lunch and exhibits that include documents that freed slaves and historical artifacts from the era.

Oakley Cabin and Slave Museum in Brookeville will host history reenactors, singers and an open house. Free. 301-563-3400 or www.mc-mncppc.org/historic/emancipation.shtm.

Talks on Day-Laborer Panel

Gaithersburg's mayor and City Council will hold a work session at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the structure, mandate and other issues associated with a new task force on day laborers.

Montgomery County officials this month dropped plans to open a day-labor center on North Frederick Avenue after neighborhood opposition prompted the city to reconsider its commitment to the project.

Gaithersburg residents have complained that they were not included in discussions that led to the city's decision to partner with the county to create the day-labor center. In response, Mayor Sydney A. Katz proposed to the City Council that it set up a committee to consider the issue.

The meeting will be at the City Council chambers, 31 South Summit Ave., Gaithersburg. 301-258-6310 or www.gaithersburgmd.gov.

-- Compiled by ARUNA JAIN